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The Game Can't Love You Back

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  601 ratings  ·  127 reviews

Bitter sports rivalries and swoon-worthy romance intertwine, in Karole Cozzo’s classic enemies to lovers story where two former nemeses blur the lines between love and hate.

Eve is used to being the odd woman out. As the only girl on her school's baseball team, she knows exactly how to put sweaty, macho baseball players in their place, and she's learned to focus on one t

Kindle Edition, 315 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Swoon Reads
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  601 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Karlita | Tale Out Loud
Full Review at Tale Out Loud | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

When an electrical fire broke out at Farmington South High School, students especially those who are member of the sports team didn’t have any choice but be absorbed by the Farmington East High School.

Female baseball player, Eve “Phenom” Marshall was forced to join the Pirate’s baseball team playing along with their star player, Jamie “Ace” Abrams. Not only they’re both vying for the same trophy but they also instantly had the connect
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
I was on the promotional blog tour for this book! I also received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley!

4.5 out of 5 stars!

This was a great YA Contemporary Romance to read, as the summer months begin and the baseball hots up. As I am from England, I was a little bit nervous to see what the baseball storyline regarding the main character Eve would be like. But rest assured, it was really refreshing to read a sport that I don’t often see portrayed in YA Fiction. After her h
Olivia (The Candid Cover)
4.5 Stars

As a fan of books about sports, the enemies to lovers trope, strong female characters, and Karole Cozzo, The Game Can’t Love You Back just screams recipe for success. This book is empowering and follows the story of the only female athlete on a school baseball team. It is both cute and significant, and it lived up to my every expectation.

Full review on The Candid Cover

2.5 stars?

I really loved this premise and was fairly eager to read the book, yet I’m not entirely sure how I feel now that I’m done with it.

Eve and Jamie are decent enough characters. I liked that they were driven and competitive and focused. I didn’t see the chemistry between them and never really got the shift in feelings. There are some great secondary characters {Scott and Marcella mostly} who felt very one dimensional.

Plot wise, it was slow. I struggled really hard in the beginning becaus
as always, this review's on the blog as well!
This is my second book by Karole Cozzo and it has a completely different tone than her last novel—The Truth About Happily Ever After. This isn’t bad at all, actually, and I loved that she’s able to write such different characters with really different voices.

For the most part, The Game Can’t Love You Back is a good book. I liked the plot, I liked the romance—and the build-up to it!—and the characters. It was well written, had great swoony scenes, a
Katy Upperman
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Three Awesome Things About THE GAME CAN'T LOVE YOU BACK...
1. Badass female lead. Just wait until you meet Eve -- she's strong, smart, loyal, determined, and super athletic. She stares down sexism and intimidation without flinching, and I adore her.  
2. Dreamiest male lead. Jamie is a new favorite book boy; he has a reputation for being a player, but he's actually got a heart of gold. He's so sweet to Eve (eventually), and endlessly devoted to his family and his teammates. *swoon*
3. Enemies to lo
Dani (Dani Reviews Things & Love in a time of Feminism)
CW: references to domestic abuse

This one hooked me very quickly. Ambitious, single-minded female athlete vs cool player (in more ways than one), both vying for the same position on the baseball team? Yes please. I don't even care about baseball (sorry, I'm a rugby girl). I was just in it for the competitiveness.

There was something kind of ruthless about Eve. She was so focused on winning, and it wasn't even really about proving a point. It just was what it was: she played baseball because her ol
Vicky Who Reads
2 stars

Read this review on BooksAndGeeks here!

I was so excited to read this one. I had craved reading an enemies-to-lovers romance for weeks before and had my eye on this title. When I saw it at the library, I immediately checked it out and started it during the car ride home. Swoon Reads is a great imprint for light, fluffy romances, so I had high hopes for this one.

But, it just didn't really do it for me. I found it to be a little too tropey--enemies-to-lovers and the only girl was a bit too
Even though the summary makes you think this is a typical teen romance melodrama with a dash of sports, this book exceeded my expectations :D It sounds like it's gonna be all fluffy, light but it wasn't exactly like that. These characters were far more realistic and they were really fleshed out, felt like real people. Both Jamie and Eve had their own problems, but they weren't magically solved after they got together, not was there insta-love. Actually, I found their hate-to-love romance one of ...more
Kathy Martin
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE GAME CAN'T LOVE YOU BACK was a great sports romance. It is told in two viewpoints. Eve is an athlete and, whatever she plays, she wins. She has awards for soccer, basketball ... and baseball. Yup, she's been playing with the boys since she and her older brothers were all in Little League.

When her high school catches on fire, ruining the gym and some other areas, the school district decides that all the students will join their classmates at the other high school in the district. Now, the Bul
Marty :} (thecursedbooks)
(2.5 stars)

I was super excited to read this book when I first got it. I don’t think I talk about it a lot, but I absolutely adore sport romances. I love Zapata’s books, but I read very few sport romances in the young adult genre. Therefore, I was super hyped about this one!

Sadly, I had some serious issues with this one.

Our two protagonists, Eve and Jamie, are thrown into the same baseball team due to an accident at Eve’s school (her school closes and all her classmates are relocated at Jamie’
Samantha (WLABB)
Rating: 4.5 Stars

When I first heard about this book, I was all over it because I was a fan of the TV show, Pitch, and I love Karole Cozzo books. Needless to say, I devoured this book, starting and finishing it in the same day. It was fun, heartwarming, compelling, and swoony.

• Pro: Eve was a fabulous female. She was fierce, empowered, and passionate, and she went after what she wanted, but she wasn't just this hard, tough as nails woman. She had soft parts too, and I really liked seeing all tho
T.H. Hernandez
My favorite Karole Cozzo book to date, and the title, THE GAME CAN’T LOVE YOU BACK, might be the most perfect title ever — it perfectly sums up the themes of the story. When Eve’s high school suffers a freak accident, she and the rest of her Bulldogs are forced across town to attend school with the rival Pirates. And the school rivalry is only the beginning of her issues. As the only girl in a family of boys, Eve’s mom told her if she wanted to play sports, she’d play with her brothers, because ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review, summereads
Lately it seems like I'm enjoying more of the sporty kind of contemporary books which this lovely book belongs to.

I was never a sporty type myself but loved to watch almost any kind of sports and learn their specific rules. Reading books with a focus on one or more sports always fascinate me. It's like watching a sport and I love to learn about actual sport-specific terms in a way of not someone explaining it to you word by word but by reading through a chapter and naturally figuring out the me
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book definitely surprised me, because I expected a very cliched romance novel and this wasnt really one. It was super realistic, Id say - at least in comparison to other romance novels. The only thing that didnt quite make sense to me was that she was allowed to play in a boys team.
The development of their relationship was very slow and normal. I was halfway through the book when they had their first real conversation and there wasnt that much drama or angst either. In general, the first h
Katherine Paschal
Eve has fought hard to be given respect as the only female on the baseball team at her school, but now that she is forced to attend her rival school she will not have it easy. Her new high school already has a pitcher for their team, Jamie aka Ace, and he is not interested in sharing the position or the glory. Jamie wants nothing more but for Eve to quit the team, to stop making a mockery out of the only thing that makes sense in his life. But Eve refuses to back down to the arrogant playboy and ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Karole Cozzo hits it out of the ball-park (see what I did there?) with this sexy, rivalry romp! If you're looking for a fun, fast read, The Game Can't Love You Back is for you!

Full review here:
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eve is the exact kind of fierce heroine I needed in my life this past week. I could read about her annihilating stereotypes and bucking expectations for at least another three books... wink wink Karole. :) Be sure to check this one out in May! You won't regret it!
KarenJo Custodio
4.5 - Heartwarming, Cute, and Incredibly Inspiring

I think I’m slowly warming up to sports themed books and might just be my newest obsession. I didn’t really care for them that much before since I’m not into sports, but the books I’ve read in the past few months were pretty darn good. The Game Can’t Love You Back by Karole Cozzo was no exception and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. I even had tears in the end and couldn’t stop smiling and swooning.

Enemies to lovers stories are j
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Grade: C+
An ARC was provided by Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: YA sports books are often fluffy fun. I don't actively seek them out, but I have read a few (Miranda Kenneally's series and Being Sloane Jacobs come to mind).
When writing a romance involving rival athletes, an author has to be careful that the guy doesn't come across as a sexist jerk. The synopsis seemed to imply to me that Jamie was going to be that way, so I was a bit tentative. However,
2.5? maybe?

I was expecting so much from this book and I was really disappointed. It's when I come YA I dislike that I'm asking myself if I've finally grown too old for YA contemporary books. This time, I think, the book was actually the problem.

The Game Can't Love You Back tells the story of Eve, basketball player, baseball pitcher, and good student. After a fire in her old school, Eve has to transfer. New school, new team. New so so so misogynistic teammates. Then comes Jamie, love interest,
Jennifer H.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-netgalley
Smart, funny, and sexy! I devoured this glorious book!

Eve is one of those characters that you can immediately connect to. Headstrong, passionate, and protective over what matters most in her life - in this case taking pride in being the only girl on the school's baseball team. When she finds herself on the same team as Jamie - a guy she has absolutely no use for - you start to see the other side of that coin where she is stubborn and challenging to a fault. And that is what makes her and Jamie'
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 - 4

If you love PITCH and mad that it got cancelled WELL!!!!!!! This book is it for you.

The only thing that bothered me is that Eve and Marcella never resolved some of the more deeper conversations...

I loved that periods/tampons were brought up even though it was really just the word. And the mention of birth control and morning after pill.

I liked Eve a lot, Jamie was fine.

I just felt there were a lot of things that were not brought up again; I mean you don't have to resolved them. But the t
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-tangible
If you liked the TV show Pitch (RIP), you'll enjoy this book. I'm a huge fan of girls doing what they love despite the gender barrier. And I'm all for competition. So a female fighting stigma while competing against a new rival, plus a little romance = my favourite kind of read. And I loved the advice she got from her mom (which is also the name sake of the book). My own major complaint... the cover art. At least have the model wearing braids like the character! Sigh, why does cover art struggle ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ugh this was so cute! i’m feeling very emotional about this book because next spring i’m going to (hopefully) play baseball at my high school and i’ll be a senior (idky that makes me sad, it just does) and the story reminded me of friday night lights, which always makes me emotional. and overall i just loved this story. yes i’m feeling a little underwhelmed with the ending but i still loved the character development and who doesn’t love a great hate-to-love story. oh and a plus is i finished thi ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light, easy YA romantic read. With a strong and independent female lead and your typical sports mad popular guy this book was set to be right up my alley.

The writing is punchy and the story itself is great. I have been needing the happily ever.after books lately and did not dissapoint.
Sandie, Teen Lit Rocks
Somehow I've read two books about the same thing this year: female athletes in male-dominated sports who fall for one of their teammates. Waiting for a third one for this to become an early trend of the year. Light and breezy read with a cute hate-to-love romance.
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
This was so addictive s2g!

More thought later, cause it's late and I need to pass out now.
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Karole lives outside of Philadelphia, PA with her loving husband, exuberant little girl, and smiley little boy. She adores YA Romance, because it would be awesome if life in general had a requisite feel-good happy ending rule. Vices include obscene Haribo gummy consumption, addiction to Starbucks NF vanilla lattes, and tendency to hoard Bath and Body Works 3-wick candles.